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Top Twenty Bluegrass Tunes

South 40 07 Aug 98 - 12:45 AM
07 Aug 98 - 11:18 AM
07 Aug 98 - 11:59 AM
Tinwhistler 07 Aug 98 - 11:59 AM
Gene 07 Aug 98 - 12:28 PM
Barbara Shaw 09 Aug 98 - 09:23 PM
Nathan Sarvis (nsarvis@iglobal.net) 09 Aug 98 - 10:46 PM
Dale Rose 09 Aug 98 - 11:07 PM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 12 Aug 98 - 05:34 PM
Helen 12 Aug 98 - 07:29 PM
Mark Clark 12 Aug 98 - 08:41 PM
atechical@yahoo.com 12 Aug 98 - 09:26 PM
Barbara Shaw 14 Aug 98 - 11:41 AM
Tinwhistler 16 Aug 98 - 12:58 PM
Old Timer 17 Aug 98 - 04:47 PM
Helen 17 Aug 98 - 07:18 PM
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Subject: Top Twenty Bluegrass Tunes
From: South 40
Date: 07 Aug 98 - 12:45 AM

We play a lot of instrumental bluegrass tunes, i.e. fiddle tunes mostly using guitar, mandolin, and fiddle. We would like to begin to sing songs now as we get lots of requests for songs, but we don't know many. Have an idea on what the top twenty bluegrass-type folk tunes would be? Next question: Where to hear them for reference, to help us learn them? Thanks, and happy picking, South 40


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Subject: RE: Top Twenty Bluegrass Tunes
From:
Date: 07 Aug 98 - 11:18 AM

There are several sites where you can listen to Bluegrass Music ONLINE!
* CLICK HERE *


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Subject: RE: Top Twenty Bluegrass Tunes
From:
Date: 07 Aug 98 - 11:59 AM

Top Twenty bluegrass singing songs based on pleasing audience requests (not necessarily historical or musical reasons) would probably include: Rocky Top Don't let your deal go down salty dog mama don't allow mountain dew Roll in my sweet baby's arms ballad of jed clampett blue moon of kentucky fox on the run glendale train hand me down my walking cane crawdad song dark hollow in the pines i am a pilgrim nine pound hammer ole slewfoot new river train pallet on your floor paradise (John Prine) love please come home

That's 21 fairly popular, common tunes. You can also find words to instrumentals: soldiers joy, arkansas traveler, cripple creek, angeline the bakegirl, etc..


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Subject: RE: Top Twenty Bluegrass Tunes
From: Tinwhistler
Date: 07 Aug 98 - 11:59 AM

Many of the tunes you've been playing as instrumentals probably have words, too--like Old Joe Clark, John Hardy, Ol' Dan Tucker, Bile them Cabbage Down.

Tunes I hear alot: Mountain Dew, Wildwood Flower, Mama Don't 'Low, Blue Moon of Kentucky, Rocky Top, Will the Circle Be Unbroken.

Good luck! I'm looking forward to seeing what others find for you.


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Subject: RE: Top Twenty Bluegrass Tunes
From: Gene
Date: 07 Aug 98 - 12:28 PM


LINKS to Bluegrass Midi's/RealAudio/Mpeg-3 waves/Live & Canned Broadcasts----Other NFO...

* GO HERE *

Try the MOUNTAIN FOLK Site for ONLINE Bluegrass...


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Subject: RE: Top Twenty Bluegrass Tunes
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 09 Aug 98 - 09:23 PM

Just got back from a bluegrass festival in New Hampshire (Pemi Valley). The songs mentioned above are old standard bluegrass, but I didn’t hear one of them all weekend, although non-bluegrass audiences might request them as the only ones they’ve heard of. They have been played so many bohillion times that most bluegrassers I know want to hear / play other less overplayed tunes, and pickers especially avoid the really hackneyed ones like Rocky Top, Fox on the Run and Dueling Banjos. (The songs I did more than once in jams this weekend included new songs by Gillian Welch like “Tear My Stillhouse Down” and old songs by the Louvin Brothers like “My Baby’s Gone.” But that’s a matter of taste.) Also, you can “put the grass” to a lot of non-bluegrass songs, and they turn into bluegrass with the right instrumentation and delivery.

A good source is to get some of those CD’s with collections by various artists.

Be warned that there are probably thousands of bluegrass tunes. You can do a search on the DT for @bluegrass and find some. Here are a few more. No guarantees on trite-free:

All the Good Times Have Passed and Gone
Angel Band
Faded Love
Footprints in the Snow
Home Sweet Home
Last Old Shovel
Life’s Railway to Heaven
Little Cabin Home on the Hill
Long Journey Home
Molly and Ten-Brooks
My Rose of Old Kentucky
Rank Strangers
Rough and Rocky
Sweetest Gift, A Mother’s Smile
Take Me In Your Lifeboat
Walls of Time
Westphalia Waltz
White Dove


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Subject: RE: Top Twenty Bluegrass Tunes
From: Nathan Sarvis (nsarvis@iglobal.net)
Date: 09 Aug 98 - 10:46 PM

A good place to start for hearing them would be the Nitty
Gritty Dirt Band's "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" cd. Also,
just about any Bill Monroe recoding.


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Subject: RE: Top Twenty Bluegrass Tunes
From: Dale Rose
Date: 09 Aug 98 - 11:07 PM

Friends of mine have a standard answer for requests for Dueling Banjos.

"Oh, they're getting along just fine now. What else would you like to hear?"


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Subject: RE: Top Twenty Bluegrass Tunes
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 12 Aug 98 - 05:34 PM

Cherokee Shuffle; Rocky Top; Fox On The Run; If You're Ever In Oklahoma; Roustabout; Blue Moon of Kentucky; Cumberland Gap; Foggy Mountain Breakdown; Good Ole Mountain Dew; Are You Tired Tonight, Little Darlin'; are a few that come to mind.

You hear bluegrass versions of just about everything -- Beatles, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard. Haven't heard any covers of the Spice Girls yet but I'm sure someone is working on it even as I type this.

When I think of bluegrass though I think of that Bill Monroe style and those harmonies. However lots of bluegrass bands will do songs in other styles, such as covering Okie From Muskokie or any number of Johnny Cash tunes.


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Subject: RE: Top Twenty Bluegrass Tunes
From: Helen
Date: 12 Aug 98 - 07:29 PM

I have a question - does anyone know if the tune "Chinese Breakdown" is a bluegrass tune. Our session group found it in a book of fiddle tunes but we know nothing about it. Great tune, though.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Top Twenty Bluegrass Tunes
From: Mark Clark
Date: 12 Aug 98 - 08:41 PM

South,

You asked for the top 20 "bluegrass-type folk tunes." That may be a little different than asking what are the top 20 bluegrass tunes. Bluegrass bands often perform arrangements of folk material but more often they are performing original songs or adapting popular material from other genres including jazz, blues, pop, country, classical, and even film scores. The material from the 40's and 50's may seem traditional now but when Bill Monroe walked onto the Opry stage in 1945 with Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, Cedric Rainwater and Chubby Wise it must have been like hearing "Bird" or Jimmy Hendrix for the first time. It was a whole different thing.

What you really need are the breakthrough recordings by the top 20 artists or bands. Certainly this would include Monroe, the Stanleys, Flatt & Scruggs, Jimmy Martin, The Country Gentlemen, Red Allen, J.D. Crowe, The Second Generation, David Grisman and a whole lot of innovative musisians in between. Each of these greats has made a lasting contribution to the music. You'll also want to listen to the same group at different periods of evolution. The Stanley Brothers' recordings from the 50's broke new groud but then so did Ralph's band of the early to mid 70's when he had Roy Lee Centers, Ricky Scaggs, Kieth Whitley, Jack Cook and of course Curly Ray Cline.

The festival jams may often pull out old well-worn tunes but they do it as a way of including more folks in the fun not because the tunes are necessarily most popular.

- Mark


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Subject: RE: Top Twenty Bluegrass Tunes
From: atechical@yahoo.com
Date: 12 Aug 98 - 09:26 PM

Barbara, I also am recovering from Pemi Valley and hope you got to hear Smokey Green do "I just don't look good naked anymore"... now there's a bluegrass classic in the making.. :)

To get back on topic, one of my favorite CDs is "Blue Ribbon Bluegrass" (Rounder CDAN 11) with Jim & Jesse, Tony Rice, Hazel Dickens, Ricky Skaggs, Alison Krause, Laurie Lewis, Vince Gill, David Grisman, Del Mccoury, JD Crowe, and more all on one mix of mostly good tunes. It doesn't get much better, as samplers go.


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Subject: RE: Top Twenty Bluegrass Tunes
From: Barbara Shaw
Date: 14 Aug 98 - 11:41 AM

atechical,

Had all week to recover from Pemi while at work, and am off to the CT River Valley BG Festival this weekend in Moodus, CT. Maybe you're going to that?

Never heard Smokey Green at all. Got sucked into a marathon jam (8 hours) while he was on, and never even found the stage area until the next day. But heard he was good.

Blue Ribbon Bluegrass is a great album.


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Subject: RE: Top Twenty Bluegrass Tunes
From: Tinwhistler
Date: 16 Aug 98 - 12:58 PM

I think it all depends on the venue/audience. You wouldn't want to do nothing but the old "standards" like Dueling Banjos at a bluegrass festival. But if you're playing in a local club to a mix of ordinary folks, I can bet they want to hear some familiar tunes too. Audiences love it when the band breaks into a foot stompin', hand-clappin' tune they know, love and can sing along with!


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Subject: RE: Top Twenty Bluegrass Tunes
From: Old Timer
Date: 17 Aug 98 - 04:47 PM

Helen:

Chinese Breakdown is definitely bluegrass material. One of our local banjo pickers does this tune, and it is a regular request.

OT


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Subject: RE: Top Twenty Bluegrass Tunes
From: Helen
Date: 17 Aug 98 - 07:18 PM

Thanks Old Timer,

It's a great tune, I'm not surprised that it is requested so often.

Helen


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